I'm looking for some advice. I've been working at a nursing home as an LPN for the past 9 months while in school for my RN. For the past several months I have been PRN, working minimal hours. I'm now done with my RN, and am waiting to take my exam. A few weeks ago my boss at the nursing home called and asked if I would like to take over a full time position. I was very hesitant, because the job has been a nightmare. In 9 months we have had 4 DONs, 4 activity directors, 2 kitchen managers, and have lost countless nurses (some fires, a lot quitting). My boss told me that my schedule would be 2 days on/three days off, and we went over exactly which days I would work for the next month. I was very up front with my boss, telling her that I'm looking for a job elsewhere but that I would cover the full time hours she offered in the meantime.
When the schedule came out (on the 13th) for the 15th-31st, my schedule was VERY different than what my boss and I had discussed. Originally I would have only been required to work New Years day. Now, she has me working Christmas eve, New Years eve, and New Years day. I just worked my first two days on the schedule, and it was hell. I could vent, but i'm sure no one wants to read all of it (this is long enough already).
I want more than anything to resign on the spot. Or to tell my boss that I cannot work Christmas eve or New Years eve, because we never agreed to it. Am I over-reacting? Is this just what nursing is like? Horrible schedules that come out late? Being hired on false pretenses? What should I do? Suck it up and work the schedule but give notice? I feel like no matter what I do, I'm going to get a bad reference, because my boss is that kind of person.
Dec 19, '12
If you need to use them as a reference then you will have to suck it up and work the schedule. If not you can quit. Either way I would at least try to talk with her about what you had agreed to versus the schedule that came out.
Dec 19, '12
One of the big differences between working as a PRN person and working full-time is that you have more control over your hours/schedule as a PRN person. Every full-time position job description I've ever seen has said somewhere that your schedule is at the discretion of your supervisor and the needs of the unit. Some managers work harder than others to accommodate the needs and preferences of individual nurses on their units, but the bottom line that, when you take the job, you are agreeing to work the schedule that they need you to work (even if that means sometimes being pulled to a shift different from your regular shift). I've worked all kinds of holidays over the years that I didn't "agree" to; it was just my turn, or I was too late in requesting the time off, or whatever.
I think it would be perfectly reasonable to ask your supervisor what happened to the schedule the two of you had discussed and (she) agreed to. Don't be surprised if it doesn't get changed, though. If you want to leave that position, I encourage you strongly to "take the high road;" give the expected/appropriate amount of notice for that employer, submit your resignation in writing, and be courteous and professional in all your dealings with them until you are gone. Nursing tends to be a small "club," and, unless you're going to move to another whole part of the country to start your RN career (and even then, possibly), you never know when your actions at this employer may come back to haunt you. Best wishes!
Dec 19, '12
Thanks, that's what I need to hear. I've never not given notice at a job and I don't plan to start now. I really want to leave this job in good standing, especially since this is my first nursing job. I'm actually thinking I may have to continue working there until I find another job if only to keep the peace. I have never disliked a job this much, but I don't want an emotional decision now to create limitations in my future.
Is it acceptable to ask an employer what sort of reference they would give you? I've never been concerned before, but with this job I am. Twice with this job I've ended up being a no-call no-show. The first, I was put on the schedule two days before memorial day, not informed, it was not my holiday to work, and I was camping four hours away. The second time I was put on the schedule 3-4 days before a shift and was not notified. When I approached my boss after the second incident, she ended up yelling at me and telling me that the "schedule can change at any time." The only way I could have prevented those was to check the schedule every day.
For the record, I've been working for ten years and have never been a no-call no-show... even when I was hospitalized. I'm really worried.
Dec 19, '12
I would be worried, too -- I've never anywhere where you would still be employed after two no-call-no-shows. If you have to check the schedule every day, that's what you were expected to do.
Again, it can't hurt to ask, courteously and professionally. You can ask in the HR department about what your status will be after you leave (after you've let them know you're leaving, that is). The traditional way to approach this with individual supervisors is to ask if s/he would be willing to be a reference for you. Most people who feel they would not be able to give you a good reference will just politely discourage you from using them (without going into any unpleasant details -- you're expected to just take the hint). It's hard for me to imagine (but, of course, anything's possible) that someone would say oh, yes, sure, s/he'd be happy to be a reference for you, when s/he knows s/he is going to give you a bad reference.
Dec 19, '12
Those no-calls no shows were hardly playing fair. Once the schedule is out if they change it they should notify you.
I wouldn't bother asking because my sense is that they are desperate to cover the holidays and will tell you anything to keep you happy whether it is true or not.
Dec 19, '12
Want to know the most frustrating part? When I was first hired, I was working every other weekend. I had heard from fellow employees that the schedule changes all of the time, so I approached my boss and asked her - "since I'm only here every other weekend, how often should I check the schedule to make sure it hasn't changed between my shifts? or, will you let me know when the schedule has changed?" Her response: "we'll call you." This is the same woman that yelled at me about how the schedule can change at any time.
The woman I keep talking about is my ADON. Like I said, we have had 4 DONs. The newest DON actually seems like a very nice person. So maybe if I stick around a little longer, I can get to know her well enough that I can talk to her about everything. Such a nightmare.
Dec 21, '12
I think she would have been more anxious to please had she not known you were leaving anyway...
Dec 22, '12
I would not be coming in to work after they changed a schedule that they already had out unless I gave my okay first. How can you be a no call no show if you have a schedule and your not on it that day? What, someone decided to just put you on? Am I the only one that thinks that is just plain wrong and a little underhanded? Guess they should have covered that day before coming out with that schedule. That's crazy. I work part time so how would I know when they changed the schedule? So everyday you should be calling them to see if your on the schedule so you won't be a no call no show?
I would get anything in writing from now on that they offerred me. Once I have a schedule, I plan my days and nights around it. I will not change anything because they decide to put me on without asking me first, period. I would be fired for sure.
Jan 7, '13
Exactly! It makes absolutely no sense!
Well I ended up putting in my two weeks notice. Not because of the scheduling, but because of the job itself. I knew I hated the job, and the facility was a disaster... but it wasn't until I began searching online that I figured out just how bad the facility is. It's rated one-star, has 22 health deficiencies (state average is 6.2), and has had 5 complaints with state in the past 15 months. We had an incident with the night nurse (fracture she failed to address immediately) that will be bringing state back to the facility asap, and I want to get out before I get pulled into some facility-wide shut down or who knows what. I have never had a nursing job before, so I really didn't know if what I was seeing every day was normal or not.
The great thing is that our newest DON is WONDEFUL! When I put in my notice, she completely understood my concerns. She even confided in me that she debated about putting in her notice on a daily basis. And she said she would give me a glowing reference. I couldn't be happier. Well, I could. My stomach still turns every time I think about the care the residents are receiving. There is part of me that wants to call state with everything I know....
Jan 7, '13
You are doing the smart thing. Good for you sticking it out and giving notice and getting a good reference out of it.
Jan 7, '13
Thanks Crunch. It's been a bad situation and your comment is nice to hear.
Jan 8, '13
That's great that the current DON is willing to give you a positive recommendation. However, she may not be there very long. Ask for that letter of recommendation now.
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